Back in the ’40s and ’50s, long before they got as complicated as they are now, Mom could fix a car. She could also fix a transistor radio and virtually any other small appliance. She was able to do this because of the male influences in her life, but also because she was interested. She has always wanted to know “what’s in back of behind,” as she puts it. How things run, what makes them tick.
Had the internet debuted and become huge before her macular degeneration did, she would’ve loved it. She would’ve loved exploring the net, but also keeping up with all the technology involved with computers–gadgets and programs alike. They wouldn’t have addled her brain like they do mine.
As it is, all she knows about the internet is what she sees on TV: it’s dangerous and evil. Stalkers stalk, con artists con, hackers hack–and identities are stolen. All this, in spite of the fact that virtually every news agency now has Facebook and Twitter pages.
So you can imagine how she responded to hearing I have business that’s conducted in cyberspace and that I’m an associate editor of a publishing company she’s never heard of.
She started with: “How do you know these people are who they say they are? They could be dangerous!”
From there, she moved to: “Yes, but it’s not a real job.”
And, my personal favorite: “But it’s not real money.”
I did the best I could to explain something I barely understand to someone who doesn’t understand at all. I’m not sure how well I did, but she seemed a little more comfortable.
Who would’ve thought how much could be done without anything physical passing between “real” people. Not even a handshake. I have no idea what some of the people I communicate with daily look like. Some of them keep their personal lives so very personal, I don’t even know if they’re married, how old they are, whether they have kids.
But one thing I know: Dangerous people have an agenda. Given time, you can see what they’re made of and where they’re coming from, because meeting their agenda is vital to them. Just as a wolf in sheep’s clothing will begin to salivate when he smells his prey, so will evil people display tell-tale signs of their intent. Norton Security System can protect my computer, but watching for these signs and listening to that soft voice in my head are what protect me.
I may not know everything about the computer, but I’ve learned how to protect myself in a variety of ways while I’m on it.
As to “It’s not real money,” the check for my groceries didn’t bounce.
Now that I’ve explained to the best of my abilities and she’s a little less worried, she is excited about calling her daughter an editor. She may have trouble explaining it to her friends, but she still loves telling them.